aka-gp-rostrumJim Thompson reports from the AKA Grand Prix held at Herts Nitro Model Club:

The first AKA GP in the UK was held at HNMC in Ware, Hertfordshire over the bank holiday weekend of 24-26 May. The club had put a massive effort into preparing for this event and the track was in top condition. The event had been well received with almost 140 race entries, but the weather was to play havoc with the race schedule and test the clubs resolve.

Saturday – The Wash Out
Heavy rain on Friday night and Saturday morning meant that the HNMC track team pumped over 500 litres of water off the track. In the meantime, RC legend Mark Pavidis was on hand to give an AKA master class and answered questions from 12:30.
aka-gp-AKA-Master-classRacing was re-scheduled for 15:00 and it was all looking good until five minutes before the start when the heavens opened and racing was cancelled for Saturday. There was still a buzz in the pits with David Ronnefalk, Joseph Quagraine, Mark Pavidis, Linus Thern chatting to the local drivers and eagerly wishing to get racing. The track team again worked hard on Saturday night to keep the water off the track so thanks again.

Super Sunday
Yours truly woke up at 05:45 to take the dog for a walk before the race day and when I reached the track the Herts club members were already out sweeping and clearing water off the track – thank you so much. The new schedule for this day would see one round practice and five rounds of qualifying. Then there would be the junior race and the old boy’s race with a finish time of around 20:00. Practice got under way and it was Elliott Boots, Callum Niblett and David Ronnefalk toping the nitro buggy. In E-buggy it was Simon Reeves and Bert Bannach taking the top two. In round one of nitro buggy Lee Martin was fastest from Callum Niblett and Jack Embling. Simon Reeves was quickest in E-buggy from Bert Banach and Ian Barnard. The second round was won by Elliott from Jack and Lee as Elliott did the TQ double by winning the E-buggy qualifier. The third round saw Elliott continue with more wins in both classes with Lee and Simon Reeves following him home in bitor and Simon and Callum taking second an third in E-buggy. Rounds four and five were also dominated by Elliott with his Reds-powered Kyosho in nitro and Tekin-equipped E-buggy. Lee Martin took two runner-up spots in the round with Jack Embling and Olive Currie a third each in nitro. In E-buggy Joseph Quagraine would end up second both time an with Simon Reeves third. As a result of this domination, it was Kyosho’s Elliott Boots would would wrap up TQ in both classes.
At this point I want to mention the group of local youngsters doing well – Niblett, Embling, Currie, Saggers, Adams, Herd, Clancy, Daniel, Phillips, Cradock, Jones, Johnson and Best were all in the top 40 so well done. Sunday night saw a free hog roast, rodeo bull, jousting and disco, whilst the junior and old boys races enjoyed reverse grids for a great finish to the day. In the juniors Callum Niblett won from Lewis Jones and Oliver Currie.
aka-gp-juniorsStewart Wilcox won the old boys final with Andy Mitchell second and Mark Pavidis third.
Monday – Wet and Dry
The day started off with showers and finals starting 30 minutes late. It meant a start-stop morning and at 11:30 a decision was made to reduce final times and aim for a 17:00 finish, which turned out to be a great call. With the track dry by the 1:8 finals it was set to finish dry and again I must thank everyone for sticking with us through a tough weekend.
The main final in E-buggy was won by Elliott Boots from Joseph Quagraine and Simon Reeves.
aka-gp-E-buggyAnd Elliott went on to do the AKA GP double with a win in nitro buggy ahead of young guns Jack Embling and Callum Niblett.
aka-gp-nitro-buggyA big thanks to AKA, FDL, Maugrafix, Herts Nitro Model Club, Herts RC Models and you the racers – let’s hope we can make this race happen next year again. Full results can be found here. Results from the junior race are here and the old boys race here. The next race meeting is on 8 June and you can book in here. The second round of the SRS is on 29 June and you can book in here.

Source: HNMC

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